A new virus outbreak reminds us how quickly disease can spread in a connected world.
[Darris McNeely] Coming out of China is the news of a new strain of virus called the coronavirus. It has already caused over 100 deaths. It has caused the shutdown in mainland China of a city of over a million people, Wuhan, and it is now beginning to spread to other parts of the world. It has shown up in the United States. The United States government has actually evacuated government personnel and other citizens out of this one city to protect them, and taking great care to make sure that these people don’t even bring into America the virus. And they’re screening them along the process.
Apparently, this particular virus, like others in the past, has made a jump from animals to humans, and it is taxing the efforts of China to contain it and get some type of a vaccine that can help people. So, once again, a very potentially dangerous pestilence that is coming out of this part of the world. I take particular note about this for two reasons. One, I was just in Hong Kong, and I did see a lot of people, even before the outbreak of this virus, wearing masks over their face. A lot of people in that very tightly-packed environment, and they are very much concerned about passing along germs and the flu. So it’s a common sight, now made more so by this particular virus. And probably the second thing that is causing me and probably you to note this is that, as of today at least, this has even impacted the American stock market, because it has dropped a bit because of the concerns about the economic impact of where this virus might go.
It’s been several years. I think the last major scare coming out of Asia was in 2003 with what they called the SARS virus or flu. And now we have this. We hope that it can be contained. We think immediately, when we look at something like this, about the biblical warnings about pestilence and one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I would hesitate to say that this is what that’s going to be, but nonetheless, it does illustrate just how quickly things can spread and get out of hand in our very global, integrated world that we have today. And as I said, I was just in Asia, and so it does cause me to perk up and take a bit more notice about something like this.’
And so, take your precautions. Practice good hygiene. Do what you can to make sure that you don’t get sick or pass anything along in this particular season of the year. And certainly, we will be watching this and seeking to understand and watch where it goes. And we hope and we certainly pray that it does not spread further, creating greater problems and death among the larger populations of our world today.
That’s BT Daily, join us next time.